Top dogs can catch things too!  Our NEW dog show panel checks for 8 pathogens potentially transmissible at dog shows.

 Neuro symptoms getting on your nerves? Try our canine neurological panel - 6 neurological pathogens from 1 CSF sample; or our feline neurological panel - 5 neurological pathogens from 1 CSF sample.

Oh baby! Try our canine breeding PCR panel - 3 canine sexually transmitted diseases tested from swabs or semen samples.

Respiratory symptoms got you breathless? Try our canine respiratory PCR panel - we test for 8 canine respiratory pathogens from throat, nasal and eye swabs.

...or maybe you need our feline respiratory PCR panel -- 6 feline respiratory pathogens from throat, nasal and eye swabs.

Diarrhea got you on the run? Try our canine diarrhea PCR panel -- 8 major diarrheagenic agents from 1 fecal specimen...
...OR our 9-pathogen feline diarrhea PCR panel.

Not feeling sanguine about bloodborne pathogens in cats? Try our feline bloodborne PCR panel -- 4 major bloodborne pathogens from 1 blood sample.

Ticks bugging you? Try our tickborne disease PCR panel -- 7 major tickborne pathogens from 1 blood sample.

Just plain sick and tired? Try our canine anemia PCR panel or our feline anemia PCR panel -- detect and differentiate multiple anemia pathogens from 1 blood sample.

            * * *           

Zoologix performs canine and feline PCR tests for...

Anaplasma phagocytophilum

Anaplasma platys

Aspergillus species

Aspergillus fumigatus



Baylisascaris procyonis

Bordetella bronchiseptica

Borrelia burgdorferi

Brucella canis


Canine adenovirus type 1

Canine adenovirus type 2

Canine circovirus

Canine enteric coronavirus (CCV1)

Canine distemper

Canine herpesvirus

Canine papillomavirus

Canine parainfluenza virus

Canine parvovirus

Canine pneumovirus

Canine respiratory coronavirus (CCV2)

Chagas disease

Chikungunya virus

Chlamydophila psittaci

Clostridium species




Cytauxzoon felis

Demodex gatoi mites

E. coli



Fading kitten syndrome

Feline calicivirus

Feline distemper

Feline enteric coronavirus

Feline foamy virus

Feline herpesvirus type 1

Feline immunodeficiency virus

Feline infectious anemia

Feline infectious peritonitis

Feline leukemia

Feline panleukopenia

Feline papillomavirus

Feline pneunomitis

Feline rhinotracheitis virus

Feline sarcoma virus

Feline syncytial virus

Francisella tularensis


Group G strep

Haemobartonella canis

Haemobartonella felis


Influenza type A

Lawsonia intracellularis



Lyme disease

Mange in cats


MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staph aureus)

Mycoplasma canis

Mycoplasma cynos

Mycoplasma felis

Mycoplasma haemocanis

Mycoplasma haemofelis

Neorickettsia helmintheca

Neospora caninum

Pasteurella multocida

Pneumocystis carinii



Reovirus screen

Rickettsia screen



Salmon poisoning disease

Sarcocystis neurona

Streptococcus, Group G

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pyogenes

Streptococcus zooepidemicus

Toxoplasma gondii



Trypanosoma cruzi


West Nile virus

Yersinia pestis

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

E. coli PCR test for dogs and cats

dog and cat assay data sheet

E. coli panel

Test code:
P0016 - Qualitative detection and differentiation by PCR of pathogenic strains of E. coli in dogs and cats -- ETEC, EHEC, EIEC, EPEC and EAEC


The intestinal tracts of most mammals, including dogs, cats and humans, are colonized by Escherichia coli bacteria. Most strains of E. coli found in dogs and cats are normal, nonpathogenic gut flora, but some strains can cause diseases of the urinary tract, central nervous system, and especially the gastrointestinal tract; the most frequent symptom is diarrhea.  These pathogenic strains can also cause similar illnesses in humans in close contact with infected pets.

Symptoms induced by these diarrheagenic E. coli can be due to production of toxins or other virulence traits. E. coli strains that induce diarrhea in their hosts can be divided into five main categories on the basis of distinct epidemiological and clinical features and specific virulence determinants:

  • ETEC - Enterotoxigenic E. coli: Produce heat-labile toxin (LT) and heat-stable toxin (ST).
  • EHEC - Enterohemorrhagic E. coli: Produce shiga-like toxins (SLT) I and II.
  • EIEC - Enteroinvasive E. coli: Typically invade and destroy the bowel mucosa.
  • EPEC - Enteropathogenic E. coli: Damage the bowel mucosa with characteristic attaching and effacing lesions mediated by a protein encoded by a gene called the attaching and effacing locus (eal).
  • EAEC - Enteroaggregative E. coli: The epidemiology and pathogenicity of these strains have not yet been clearly defined, but the presence of a large 60 kD plasmid encoding several virulence factors and toxins is important for their virulence.

Clinically, ETEC induce a watery diarrhea in infected hosts by action of the two toxins, LT and ST. The LT enterotoxin is very similar to cholera toxin in both structure and mode of action. ST is known to bind to and activate a guanylate cyclase enzyme located on apical membranes of host cells. This leads to secretion of fluid and electrolytes resulting in a watery diarrhea. Incubation period is approximately 1-2 days and illness can last 3 days to several weeks.

EHEC are mostly represented by a single strain, serotype O157:H7, which causes a diarrheal syndrome with copious bloody discharge and no fever. There is a toxic effect on the kidneys, and diarrhea caused by this strain can be fatal, particularly in infants, due to acute kidney failure. Infection in humans is often associated with ingestion of inadequately cooked hamburger meat. Incubation period is approximately 3 to 4 days and duration of illness is about 1 week.

EIEC are similar to Shigella in their pathogenic mechanism and clinical symptoms. EIEC bacteria penetrate and multiply within epithelial cells of the colon causing widespread cell destruction. The clinical syndrome is identical to Shigella dysentery and includes a dysentery-like diarrhea with fever. EIEC do not produce LT or ST toxin and, unlike Shigella, do not produce shiga toxin. The incubation period is less than 24 hours.

EPEC cause a watery diarrhea similar to ETEC, but do not produce ST or LT toxins. These strains are a principal cause of infant diarrhea in developing countries. The illness typically lasts 1 to 3 days.

EAEC adhere to epithelial cells in a characteristic stacked-brick pattern known as the aggregative adherence (AA) pattern. When they adhere to small and large bowel mucosal surfaces they stimulate mucus production, leading to a thick mucus-containing biofilm encrusted with EAEC. They can also secrete toxins, such as heat-stable enterotoxin 1 (EAST1), Pet and Pic, which are associated with damage to the mucosa. EAEC were originally recognized as one of the predominant etiologic agents of persistent diarrhea in developing countries and they remain an important cause of acute as well as protracted diarrhea in many parts of the world, including industrialized countries.

Several assays are available for detection of diarrheagenic E. coli, including biochemical reactions, serotyping and phenotypic assays based on virulence characteristics. However, molecular detection by PCR has become a commonly-used method to detect and identify these bacteria because the method gives rapid and reliable results in addition to its high sensitivity and specificity (Bellin et al., 2001; Stacy-Phipps et al., 1995).


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Selection of appropriate treatment regimen
  • Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical diagnosis
  • Help ensure that kennels and catteries are free of diarrheagenic E. coli
  • Early prevention of spread of diarrheagenic E. coli
  • Minimize personnel exposure to diarrheagenic E. coli
  • Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from susceptible animal species

Bellin, T., Pulz, M., Matussek, A., Hempen, H.G. and Gunzer, F. (2001) Rapid detection of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli by real-time PCR with fluorescent hybridization probes. J. Clin. Microbiol. 39:370-374.
Stacy-Phipps, S., Mecca, J.J. and Weiss, J.B. (1995) Multiplex PCR assay and simple preparation method for stool specimens detect enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli DNA during course of infection. J. Clin. Microbiol. 33:1054-1059.

Specimen requirements: 0.5 ml feces, or rectal swab, or 0.2 ml bacterial culture.

Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.

For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See shipping instructions for more information.

Turnaround time: 3 business days

Methodology: Qualitative PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

2003-2023 Zoologix, Inc. • Email Zoologix • Phone (818) 717-8880